The decimal system makes certain round numbers look special. This year will mark 50 years since I started making pots professionally.
In September, at the Watts Gallery Near Guildford, I shall hold a modest celebration and exhibition, where along with work made recently, I will show pots made in each of those 5 decades.
One surprising feature looking back, is to see the variety of work I have made over those years. Some potters can be recognised instantly by their work…yet looking at pictures on Ebay under my name, I have been shocked to see work which I thought wrongly attributed to me but on looking closer I have been forced to admit, yes I did make that.
Many years ago, I applied for membership of what was then called The Craftsmen Potters Association. They turned me down because they thought the work had been made by more than one person. No doubt at that time I could not settle on an identity, some focus where I felt content. It has taken 50 years to show that there is no such focus. I go where I please and where my customers let me.
Coca-Cola have made billions selling a sugar drink. They have spent billions creating an image of their drink. Their commercial success must be closely related to not changing their product too often. In the same way, it must be convenient for galleries and those selling my work, to have a consistent product, and an identifiable style.
Our lusterware conforms to that requirement by chance because few other potters use that process- in this country we have the field almost to ourselves. But I hope the urge to explore and try new ideas never deserts me, so don’t look for a distinct style- with any luck things will keep on changing.
East Dean. January 2024